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Clem So

University of Plymouth (BA Hons Fine Art, 2010 / 2010)


What is your favourite film of all time?

It has to be Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Visually it was way ahead of its time with a classic sound track by Vangelis. Highly memorable.

What music are you currently listening to and why?

Crowded House, Neil Finn is simply the complete songwriter. Tuanne Mac, this girl has the voice of an angel and the song writing skills to match. She is one to watch out for.

Which living artists do you most admire and why?

Jenny Saville, her sense of form is just breath taking, and the way she lays down paint is in a league of its own.

Which deceased artist do you most admire and why?

Alberto Giacometti. Not so much his sculptures but I loved his portraiture. It’s fascinating the way Giacometti stated over and over with the brush. His faces had so much depth to them but he still managed to keep their fluidity.

Which exhibition that you have visited made the greatest impact on you and why?

Louise Bourgeois at the Tate Modern. Her work helped me to understand the importance of installation in space, environment, but also how we can use a signature (style) over and over to cement the identity of the artist.

What is the question you get asked most frequently about your work and how do you answer it?

How did you do that? See my profile comments.

What / who inspired you to be an artist?

Myself + many lonely hours with my imagination.

Can you tell us about where you make your art and what if any the significance of this location is?

I live in Devon where the people are friendly and diverse, with many different views on life. As an artist, this helps to remind me that we are all unique and that is why identity can be so complex and interesting creatively.

What do you like most about being an artist?

The challenge. It’s all about self-belief and hard work. If you are into the romance of being an artist, forget it, you wont get started.

What is your greatest achievement as an artist to date?

I would definitely say my appearance on BBC 2's Show Me The Monet Series 2 was a highlight of 2012. To end up as one of the main featured artists (episode 14) from an initial entrie of 3000 artists was quite an achievement for me and gaining national exposure was a bonus.

You can watch my trial on Show Me The Monet here: -


What are your plans for the coming year?

I have have been involved in quite a few shows in 2011 ans 2012, but mainly in the South West. Next year i would like to show my work in London and Europe

Latest artwork - View all by this artist

  • Gung
  • Portrait from the Afterlife
  • Eternal Grandmother
  • The Jade Mother
  • Mr Yun
  • You Will Never Walk Alone
  • Treasure Each Moment
  • Frank
  • True Self
  • Sifu
  • Lady Fu
  • Mother Never Speaks
  • From The East

Artist's statement

My current work sees me unravel my outer shell and burrow deeper into the underbelly of my own identity, as a British born artist of Chinese descent, my work is fully engaged in the investigation of my own cultural conundrum.

This is reflected in my illustrations, which begin with the flow of Chinese ink, bleeding, layering and merging with photographic elements such as food, ghost money and terracotta warriors, suggesting, connection, memory, culture and the afterlife.

Through a combination of the traditional and digital process, I am able to peel back and reveal hidden layers of abstracted texture and subtle gestures of narrative transmitted as compelling portraiture and installation work. This desire to connect with my ancestral past feels intangible but it is there nevertheless and I want to convey that.

The aim of my work is to entice you with a simultaneity of narratives and a genuine desire for you to be engaged with the work and perhaps reflect, reminisce regarding your own family connections. Where am I from? Who am I really? What are all the conditions that caused me to exist?




2009 - Art4orce at the Roland Lewinsky, Plymouth

2009- Devon Open Studios, The Flavel Arts Centre, Dartmouth

2009 - Solo show at Birdwood Gallery, Totnes

2010 - Jill Craigie Cinema, Plymouth

2010- Pop Gallery, Exeter

2011- Solo show at Centrespace gallery, Bristol

2011 -Immersive Worlds, group show at Torre Abbey Spanish Barn, Torquay

2011- Solo show at Exeter Phoenix, Bar Gallery

2011- Paintings on display as part of a Festival at the Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth

2011 Beyond Boundaries, group show at Torre Abbey Spanish barn, Torquay

2011 Group exhibition and short listed as part of the Evolver Prize, Thelma Hulbert gallery, Honiton

2011 Trace, group exhibition with Kate Marshall and Alice Leach

2012 Affirmation, group exhibition at Torre Abbey Spanish Barn, Torquay

2012 November, True Identity, View Art Gallery, Bristol